Prior to Tuck I spent five years working at Qualtrics, a tech company headquartered in Utah. I was drawn to Tuck for its tight-knit community and top-notch classroom experience. This past summer I interned in Bain's Chicago office and I'm excited to return there full-time after graduation.
I had never used student loans of any kind before, so was unsure where to start. I was almost embarrassed to admit how little I knew about my various options—government, private, grants, scholarships, etc. I remember nervously calling into the Tuck Financial Aid office about a month before school started and had a wonderful chat. They walked me through all my options, helping me find which one made the most sense for me and my financial situation. I primarily used private student loans to fund my time at Tuck. In addition to these loans, I received a partial scholarship from Tuck and my wife has been wonderful in supporting our living expenses.
The lifestyle of a student entirely depends on your desired experience while in school and your comfort level for taking loans. I knew that during school I did not want to be concerned about money so that I could be totally focused on school and recruiting. I probably took out a little more than I needed so that I would have a bit of financial peace of mind during school. We remember how frugal we were during our undergraduate days and decided that a slightly larger loan would be worth a more enjoyable day-to-day experience. That choice was right for us but students should decide what they are comfortable with.
An MBA is certainly a big investment, but there are many options for making it work. It can feel a little bit like betting on yourself. I recommend deciding on what you want to get out of your Tuck experience. I'll never again have the experience of so intensely developing myself for two years, connecting with classmates that will be life-long friends, and living in a place like Hanover. For me, the experience has been entirely worth the price tag.
San Diego, California
Prior to Tuck, I lived in New York City and worked in strategy at American Express. This summer I interned at Google and I am really excited to be returning after graduation!
I was completely unfamiliar with the student loan process. I had multiple calls with the Tuck Financial Aid office. They had an incredible amount of patience with me—answering my most basic questions, as well as questions that pertained specifically to my financial situation. My education has been funded by federal loans, Tuck 5 percent, family support, and personal savings. In the first year, I was still sorting out how to manage my loans and finances. Whenever I popped into the Financial Aid office, I was always greeted by someone willing to help me with my concerns.
Adjusting to not having an income, after having one for several years, takes time. That said, you are surrounded by 285 classmates who are making the same transition, so you know that everyone is in the same boat. Getting your MBA is expensive—I get it; I see the tuition bills each term! But I’ve formed relationships with classmates, professors, and staff at Tuck that I truly consider invaluable and lifelong. It sounds trite, but both personally and professionally Tuck has changed my trajectory for the better, and you really can’t put a price on that.
There are a lot of ways to make back the money that you will spend on school (especially considering the career lift you’re about to experience), but you only get to do business school once. Don’t compromise on that experience. Tuck is a once in a lifetime experience, so my outlook has been to be responsible with my money, but also to know that there are always creative solutions to make the Tuck experience that I want for myself possible.
I came to Tuck to start amassing both the financial and political capital necessary to facilitate change as well as learn more about the different aspects of public policy. My number one priority was ensuring I had the funding in place I needed to attend school, ideally at the most favorable rates I could procure.
The Financial Aid office at Tuck was very helpful in providing the information I needed to make informed choices about my finances. They patiently answered all my questions and walked me through the intricacies of Tuck’s billing policies. Understanding the different timing of when aid, loans, and various bills (including rent for some students) are applied to our accounts and when to act is important, so it’s worth taking a few minutes to talk to the Financial Aid office to ensure you understand everything.
My advice to prospective students is not to despair when you see the price tag. Do your homework on financing options and reach out to the Financial Aid office if you have any questions or concerns. Particularly when taking out loans, be sure to read the fine print and leave no stone unturned. Taking the long-term view on an investment in myself has given me peace of mind.
Tuck’s teaching style, its culture, and the ability to form strong bonds with peers were all appealing to me when I applied. I was always interested in a small program, but one that was highly rated.
The Financial Aid office contacted me right away after Tuck accepted me. They broke down all of the expenses associated with tuition, room, and board and pocket money, provided me with information about eligible loans, and guided me through the loan application process.
Initially, I was afraid I would have to cut down my expenses substantially. I disclosed to the Financial Aid office my personal financial needs. It turned out the loan and the scholarship I acquired along with a small portion of personal savings covered everything I needed. Moreover, upon receiving a great offer, I feel confident I will pay off the loan soon after my graduation.
I pursued an MBA at Tuck to prepare myself with the right business knowledge for a career as an entrepreneur. I served in the U.S. Navy as a submarine officer and diver for 7 years before leaving active duty. I funded my education with a mix of Post-9/11 GI Bill® and Yellow Ribbon Program benefits, personal savings, student loans, and my wife's income.
Members of the Financial Aid office have been available to answer my questions and help since the time I was a prospective student. They create detailed breakdowns for veterans that cover tuition, expenses, and fees along with expected Post-9/11 GI Bill® and Yellow Ribbon Program contributions. Furthermore, they created a schedule for housing payments. I was able to use this information to make not only an educated assessment of the cost of school, but also to track my budget and expenses throughout school. Their personal attention and commitment to helping students is evident and incredible valuable.
Candidly, it was a challenge at first because coming to school with a family of four (plus a dog) and no income was daunting. I would advise students to create a dollar-for-dollar budget for your entire time at school, make realistic assumptions, and don’t be afraid to make revisions along the way. I realized that for a modest change in the amount of my student loan, my family and I could relax a little and enjoy more of this amazing two years in our life.
I suggest projecting out what your career and personal goals are in the 3-5 years post MBA and reflect on how you want to set yourself up financially. Bottom line, don’t wing it, reflect on your goals and values and map a financial plan that makes sense.